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Newsletter Mar 2014: The Good Honeymoon Guide

Dear friends,

With a world full of choice and incredible destinations, planning a honeymoon sometimes seems an impossible task – cue Sally and Alice Travel Co. We know that not everyone has the same idea of the perfect getaway, so whether you’re looking for unadulterated relaxation or an adventure in the wild, Sally and Alice can find something to suit every Mr and Mrs…

For relaxation: Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Suite at Kahanda Kanda

Weddings, whilst wonderful, can be hectic and often leave both the bride and groom feeling exhausted, so honeymooners looking to ‘recover’ from the big day should consider starting their trip with some R&R in Sri Lanka. The first stop on any Sri Lankan itinerary should be the stylish boutique hotel The Wallawaa which is perfect for post-flight recovery with its Z Spa, lush gardens and palm-fringed pool. From here, head on to the south coast to explore the historic Galle Fort area and further re-charge the batteries at Kahanda Kanda, a peaceful all-suite retreat set in a small tea plantation on a quiet Galle hillside (their latest addition the Nelum Suite, pictured above, has gorgeous views over Koggala lake). It’s then just a one hour flight from Colombo to the white powder beaches and azure blue lagoons of the Maldives, where the small and intimate Cocoa Island is our top pick for ‘zen’ time thanks to its whitewashed rooms (complete with billowing muslin), their world-class Como Shambala Spa and the peaceful lagoon where only non-motorised water sports are permitted.

S&A HONEYMOON OFFER: Stay seven nights at Cocoa Island for the price of six – honeymooners also receive complimentary half board.

For a one stop shop: Morocco

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From the rugged mountain ranges of the Atlas to the endless sand dunes of the Sahara, the surf beaches of the Atlantic coast to the exotic souks and alleyways of Marrakech and Fes, Morocco has it all. The accommodation is just as varied – from our favourite mountain retreat, Kasbah Bab Ourika, which offers breathtaking views across the High Atlas from its hilltop perch, to La Sultana, a lavish spa hideaway at the edge of Oualidia’s sleepy lagoon. Moroocco is also a great option for those who only have time for a shorter honeymoon – BA flies direct to Marrakech and there are plenty of spoiling and luxurious accommodation options within easy striking distance of the airport such as The Capaldi – a country house hideaway in the foothills of the Atlas where newlyweds can soak up the sun by one of the pools in the extensive landscaped gardens, indulge in superb international cuisine, and enjoy the tranquility (no kids under 12 allowed!).

S&A HONEYMOON OFFER: Stay 3 nights at La Sultana Oualidia and receive a romantic welcome in your room, bubble bath with rose petals, candles, Royal Hammam just for two, a 50 min La Sultana massage with essential oils, late check-out and complimentary upgrade upon availability.

For inspiring scenery: Northern Kenya

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It was on a trip to the less-explored and arid regions of northern Kenya in 2010 that we finally appreciated how staggeringly beautiful Kenya’s scenery could be. Here we discovered Saruni Samburu, perched on top of the Kalama Mountains with awe-inspiring 360 views which take in the snow-capped Mount Kenya and stretch as far as the Matthews Ranges. The whole lodge is cleverly built into the rock in a way that allows these views to be enjoyed from wherever you are in the lodge, be it from one of the two infinity pools, your bedroom or even the outdoor showers which look out over the reserve. Honeymooners looking to extend the ‘room with a view’ theme should consider combining a stay at Elsa’s Kopje, which is similarly built atop a rocky kopje and presides over the untamed expanse of Meru National Park below.

S&A HONEYMOON OFFER: Stay three nights at Elsa’s Kopje for the price of two (excludes July/Aug/Sept). Sally and Alice honeymooners receive a complimentary massage on arrival at Saruni Samburu

For pristine wilderness: Southern Tanzania

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At 55,000 sq. km, the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania is vast (twice the size of Switzerland) and is the largest protected wildlife sanctuary in Africa. As a result it feels very remote, wild and exclusive as opposed to the more frequently visited parks of the north. Set on the banks of the mighty Rufiji River, Sand Rivers Selous has just eight spacious stone and thatched cottages, hidden amongst the bush but open-fronted to incredible vistas across the river. Sand Rivers offers an all-round safari with 4×4 drives, guided walks, boat trips, fishing, and, for the very adventurous, fly camping in the wild – just you and your new bride under a mosquito net surrounded by the African bush. Those looking to extend their safari can continue inland to the even more remote Kigelia Ruaha, an authentic mobile bush camp in the stunning baobab dotted Ruaha National Park.

S&A HONEYMOON OFFER: Brides pay 50% of the accommodation rate at Sand Rivers Selous and Sally and Alice honeymooners will also receive a complimentary upgrade to a Hillside Suite (subject to availability)

For great value: South Africa and Mauritius

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Thanks to a strong GBP RAND exchange rate, we think honeymoons to South Africa and Mauritius offer some of the best value around in terms of the amount of luxury you get for your money. If you’re looking to keep travel to a minimum then we suggest starting your honeymoon at the Madikwe Game Reserve which is a short charter flight from Johannesburg and one of South Africa’s largest yet least known Big 5 reserves (with the added bonus of being malaria-free). At Madikwe Safari Lodge honeymooners can luxuriate in spacious suites that come complete with private plunge pools and great views over the surrounding landscape. Safari in South Africa combines particularly well with time in Mauritius, the perfect destination for honeymoons with its endless stretches of beaches, good weather and world-class line up of idyllic beach resorts to choose from. Honeymoons in Mauritius also benefit from considerable discounts with the bride often staying for free…one such property is The Residence Mauritius which is built on one of the most breathtaking stretches of beach on the east coast of the island. The resort re-creates the style and elegance of the turn-of-the-century colonial mansions that once existed in Mauritius, and all rooms and suites benefit from personal butler service, just in case you weren’t feeling spoilt enough!

S&A HONEYMOON OFFER: Looking to extend your honeymoon to Cape Town? Book three nights at Madikwe Safari Lodge and receive two nights free at one of our favourite city bolt-holes, Cape Cadogan. Honeymooners at The Residence Mauritius will receive 50% off accommodation.

If you’re planning a honeymoon, or have any family, friends or colleagues who might need help with one, please contact Sally and Alice Travel Co.